5 Houston Rockets who may not be back next season
3. Jae'Sean Tate
Jae'Sean Tate has been a Swiss Army knife for the Rockets during his first three seasons in Houston, as he's been able to essentially play anywhere on the floor. Although just 6'4, Tate's 230-pound frame has proven to be beneficial when operating in the post, on both ends of the floor.
But Tate's lack of 3-point shooting ability (30.7 percent career average on 2.5 attempts) has led to atrocious spacing. Tate's presence has also led to a convoluted wing rotation, consisting of Jalen Green, Josh Christopher, Tari Eason, and Kenyon Martin Jr., to name a few. Each of those players are younger and have more upside than Tate.
Tate is a hustle player and does things that are inherently more valuable for a contending team, as opposed to a rebuilding team. And when you throw in the fact that he's already began to have injury woes (51 games missed in 2022-23), it's easy to see the Rockets using him as trade bait for a splash acquisition, like they reportedly want to make this offseason, since they're loaded with cap space.
Tate's high energy could prove to be pivotal for a championship-caliber team lacking that skillset, especially on the second unit, which is where he'd likely play in a winning situation. He also possesses playmaking chops and could thrive as a tertiary ballhandler.
Again, Tate's place on this list is essentially more about being a valuable trade chip, and the Rockets don't have too many of those. At least not many that are expendable.